This American sycamore and red spruce guitar is rounding third base headed for home. The finish has been built up and now I’m on to compacting and burnishing the French polish finish. I still love the sycamore!


Between coats, I’m working the last piece to shape for this guitar: the pyramid-style bridge made of African blackwood.


See the earlier galleries for this guitar: part one, part two.

This American sycamore and red spruce guitar is coming right along. I’ve completed the woodworking and am deep into the finishing. The box sounds and looks wonderful–sycamore has almost unbelievable figure naturally and my previous sycamore guitars have given me some good practice on getting the most out of this wood. The adjustable neck joint front loads a lot of what is typically final setup work, so this guitar will be playable very soon!

See the first part of the gallery.

I’ve made nice progress on a 14-fret auditorium and an orchestra guitar, both made of lovely air-dried walnut. What’s the difference between those models? Mostly scale length. The bodies have the same shape, but the top bracing has been shifted accordingly. (Here’s a comparison graphic of my model sizes.) I used a different rosette and purfling design so that I wouldn’t mix them up at a critical moment.

This pair also uses a hybridized bracing scheme that relies on the X-brace for the overall structure but uses a Torres-inspired lower fan in the belly area. I’ve been very happy with the guitars I’ve built with this scheme, and on this pair I’ve even trimmed down the lower legs of the X-brace a bit more because the fan structure does a nice job of resisting the torque of the strings on the bridge.

The bodies are in good shape, and the necks are well under way. I hope to have these guitars finished in early June. The price will be $2600 for either guitar.

It was a little surprising to go from having a rim and top and back plates on the bench to suddenly having a guitar in my hands, ready for finish. “Whoa, so this is why people love to build classicals. It’s so much less work!” I thought.

Not exactly.

What makes it seem like magic to me is that the order of construction is very different than my method for building steel-string guitars. Continue reading “Classical Progress: The Instant Guitar”